I recently attended the New Mexico Library Association annual conference. It was a great opportunity to meet with other librarians, find out about all the great projects that are happening around the state, and gain some new information. The academic special interest group (ACRL-NM) also met to discuss activities of the past year and plans for the upcoming one. Our new officers were announced including myself as incoming chair, our new chair-elect, Jim Fisk, from the University of New Mexico-Gallup, and our new secretary, Monika Glowacka-Musial from New Mexico State University. The SIG sponsored a pre-conference workshop on copyright and a poster session. I was able to attend both. I gained some great tips for handling copyright issues in libraries, and the poster presenters also shared some interesting and helpful information.
As a government documents librarian, one of the sessions I found most helpful was “Government Information Resources for All Ages and Interests.” However, this information was also useful for a variety of types of libraries and library users. It was presented by Kathy Bayer of the U.S. Government Publishing Office. Kathy is an outreach librarian with GPO, and has been able to visit most of the depositories in New Mexico over the past two years as part of their “GPO on the Go” initiative. She described the depository library system briefly for attendees. She also provided information about GovInfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/) a database of government information resources. GovInfo is currently in beta, but the complete site will be up in December of this year. The information on GovInfo includes legislation, Congressional hearings, and many other documents. The site also has a section with tutorials and informational handouts about GovInfo. These can be used to inform staff and patrons about this resource.
Some other helpful sites that were discussed include:
- The Catalog of Government Publications: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F?RN=109301707 – A finding tool for government publications. You can explore new print and electronic material by clicking on the “new titles” tab on the homepage.
- Cyber Cemetery: https://govinfo.library.unt.edu/default.htm – An archive of defunct government websites provided through a partnership between GPO and the University of North Texas Libraries.
- Gov Book Talk Blog: https://govbooktalk.gpo.gov/ – A blog from GPO that highlights new and popular government publications.
At the conference, I also co-presented a session on the New Mexico shared regional depository for government documents with Monica Dorame from the University of New Mexico and Lori Thornton from the New Mexico State Library. In 2016, UNM, NMSU, and NMSL entered into an agreement to share the regional collection of government documents. All of these libraries receive official documents produced by federal government agencies as members of the Federal Depository Library Program. Previously, the University of New Mexico was the regional federal depository library for the state, meaning they received 100% of material produced by the Government Publishing Office. Because regionals are not currently allowed to withdraw any materials, this new agreement frees space and allows the three libraries to each house just a portion of that large collection. The three libraries will now house only the classification numbers and government agency publications most relevant to their institutions. This session at the conference described the implementation of this shared collection. The libraries are currently in the process of comparing collections and transferring materials. If any selective depositories have questions about procedures in the future, they may contact any of the three regional coordinators.
Aside from the government information sessions, there were several other great academic programs. ACRL-NM chapter strives to ensure that there is an academic track at the conference each year. I encourage you to consider sharing your knowledge on topics relevant to academic libraries at the mini-conference in April or the next annual conference in November 2018. The academic SIG hopes to have more conference activities next year and other academic library programming including ACRL webinars. You can always contact me with ideas you have or programming you would like to see at email@example.com. I look forward to next year’s conference and the activities that are planned for the academic SIG. I hope you will participate!
Stephanie Carter, 2017-18 ACRL-NM Chair
Government Documents Librarian
New Mexico State University